According to an interview conducted by "The New York Times," a successful blackjack dealer needs excellent math skills and manual dexterity. And while the idea of a blackjack table may conjure up images of a smoky, seedy and exclusively male establishment, times have changed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 38.1 percent of gaming service workers were women as of 2010.
Average National Pay
The BLS reports that card dealers earned an average of $10.77 an hour and $22,410 a year as of May 2012. Half of all dealers working in the nation reported wages ranging from $8.29 to $11.12 an hour and annual pay of between $17,250 and $23,120. The highest-paid 10 percent of card dealers in the United States reportedly earned $37,150 or more per year. The BLS reports that many card dealers work on a part-time basis.
Pay by Employer
According to the BLS, average pay varies considerably by the type of establishment where a blackjack dealer works. Those employed by freestanding, private casinos not attached to hotels tended to earn the most, an average of $26,800 per year. Card dealers working in casinos operated by local governments reported a lower average salary of $22,370. Those employed by casinos at resorts and hotels earned the least, averaging just $18,390 a year.
Pay by State
The average pay for card dealers varied considerably by state in 2012. Notably, Nevada did not prove to be the big payout many expect, instead reporting the lowest average pay in the country, just $17,240 per year. Those in Texas earned the most, an average of $40,400 per year. Minnesota and Illinois also reported relatively high average pay, at $32,750 and $31,450 per year, respectively. The Pacific Northwest was also kind to card dealers, with Washington reporting an average pay of $28,140; Oregon was close behind at $27,580 per year.
Many states across the nation are beginning to allow table games such as blackjack and poker at establishments that had formerly only allowed slot machines. With this trend expected to continue, the demand for card dealers is higher than the demand for most other kinds of gambling workers. The BLS expects jobs for gaming dealers to increase by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, creating an estimated 15,500 new jobs for card dealers. Those who have experience in the hospitality industry are expected to have the best chance of snagging a position as a card dealer.